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Living Well: Vacation Mentality Every Day

by on July 03, 2017 11:32 AM

Most people can’t wait for their summer vacations — long lazy days basking in the warm sun at the beach with no thoughts or cares in the world. Vacations become a time about renewal and relaxation, melting the stress of everyday life away.

Often on vacation you may find that you sleep better and get along with your family better. The end of a vacation can leave you feeling depressed and anxious about resuming everyday life.

Why is it that vacations leave us feeling rested and stress-free? Why do we have to wait two to six times a year to let go and unwind?

The key to living a fulfilled, peaceful life is to learn how to live with a vacation mentality every day, even on Mondays!

The difference between everyday life and vacation mentality is the degree to which you are present emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Usually when you are on vacation you are enjoying the feel of the sunshine, the smell of the clean air, the sound of waves, birds chirping, or the feel of the wind blowing.

You are tuned in in a way that creates space for you to be 100 percent present and alert in your surroundings. This presence creates connection with ourselves and our spirit, allowing us to feel a sense of calmness and peace. Our minds slow down and our thoughts begin to get quiet as we are conscious of the moment and our surroundings.

You don’t have to wait to go on vacation to create this type of rest. You can practice presence every day. As you wake up and go about your morning routine, instead of allowing anxiety to lead your thoughts try focusing on your breath more, allowing yourself to bring awareness into each task. This creates a deep inner peace and quiet that can make laundry and dishes seem like a spiritual event.

As you get ready for work and begin to think about the things you need to accomplish, bills that need to be paid or the grass that needs to be cut, allow the thoughts to come in while shifting your focus from your head to the center of your chest and your breath.

This shift in the physical space from your head to your heart center will allow you to practice vacation mentality every day.

Living a stress-filled life is about constantly being future-focused.  “Things will improve for me when I go on vacation, lose the weight, get a promotion, buy a house, get married,” etc., etc. The list is endless and this type of anxiety steals our joy, energy, and ability to connect and engage in the moments of everyday life.

This type of thinking will leave you feeling disconnected to yourself and everyone around you. Don’t wait until you feel depressed to make changes in the way you think; start practicing vacation mentality Monday-Friday!

Practicing presence allows you to be more efficient in your everyday tasks. You will feel more energized and feelings of peace and well-being will increase.

This type of practice becomes a wakeful meditation that allows you to connect more deeply to yourself and everyone around you. You don’t need to wait for a beach vacation to slow down, relax and take in the sights around you. Spend more time outside soaking up the warmth of the sunshine on a walk around your neighborhood. 

Think about what you do on vacation that feels good and begin to practice this in everyday life. Many couples talk about how emotional and physical intimacy are much more enjoyable when on vacation. Chances are, when you are on vacation you are more present and connected to your partner, which will increase your libido and allow you to experience greater closeness emotionally and physically.

Take time to think about how to increase your connection during the work week. Even 10 minutes of slowing down to talk, make eye contact, hug, or just check in with one another can help you experience deeper intimacy in every way.

Don’t wait for vacations to enjoy your life. Stop and begin to focus on being present every day. This will add to your joy in ways you never imagined. Use the breath as a tool to help you slow down and connect more deeply.

You are worth it!

Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist at Sunpointe Health in State College.
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